Monday, September 20, 2010

Two More Mystery Shopping Job Offers

I started work on this blog a few days ago, just in case the ads got deleted by Backpage.

Now Hiring Mystery Shopper. Earn $700 Weekly. Apply Now !!!

posted: September 4, 2010, 02:13 PM

Reply: click here
Seeking a hard working, honest, dependable and friendly person to work as our Esteemed Mystery shopper in USA.Experience in Mystery shopping is a major plus but not necessary!We PAY $700 Weekly.

Hours: Between 4 hours per week with possibility of turning into Full Time position.

Get back for more information if interested.
Salary/Wage: $700 Weekly
Education: Any
Status: Full-time, Part-time
Shift: Days
• Location: USA

• Post ID: 2319525

Seven hundred dollars a week for only four hours of work? That comes to $175 an hour with the possibility of full-time, which would be anywhere from $3500 to $7000 a week! My dear God in Heaven, I could buy a brand new car in only a few weeks of working for this company!

Holy shit! Where do I sign-up?

Okay, time for Reality to rear its ugly head: Companies that have mystery shoppers pay anywhere from $15 to $20 per job. Do you realize how many clients a company would need and how much those clients would have to pay for the shoppers to make $700 a week and the company to still make a profit? Get real.

While it may seem unimportant, you'd think that a company whose purpose is submitting written reviews of customer service to clients would know when capitalizing letters in a sentence is called-for and when it is not.

Like the previous blog, the actual name of the company doing the hiring is left out of the ad and this time no phone number is provided.


I recceived this email in response to an inquiry I sent to the ad poster:

--- On Mon, 9/20/10, Mr.Brown Luke wrote:

From: Mr.Brown Luke
Subject: Re: backpage response: Now Hiring  Mystery Shopper. Earn $700 Weekly. App...
Date: Monday, September 20, 2010, 10:20 AM


Thank you for your interest in the Mystery Shopper position.You will be paid  $700 weekly for every duty you carry out , and bonus on your transportation allowance.

Our company conducts surveys and evaluates other companies in order to help them achieve their performance goals.We offer an integrated suite of business solutions that enables corporations to achieve tangible results in the marketplace.

We get hired by other companies and act like customers to find out how they are handling their services in relation to their customers.Mystery Shopping is the most accurate and reliable tool a business can use to gather information regarding their actual customer service performance at the moment of truth.This moment of truth is not when the staff is on their best behavior because the boss is around - it is when they interact with customers during their normal daily routines.

This is where you, the Mystery Shopper, come in.

You pose as an ordinary customer and provide feedback of both factual observations (ex...the floor was free of debris)and your own opinions (ex...I felt that the temperature in the establishment was too cold).

Mystery Shoppers must remain anonymous. You must act as a regular customer and be careful not to do anything that would reveal you as a shopper.

An inexperienced shopper could tip off the staff to his/her identity by asking for the manager's name for no clear or appropriate reason.If you are going to be bringing someone with you on the shop, make sure you educate them about the process as well.

Beware that even whispers can be overheard by employees. If anyone notices you are a shopper,you can bet that word will quickly spread around the establishment and you will get some of the
 best customer service in town.

No company can afford to have a gap between the promise of quality and its actual delivery, that's why leading corporations look to us,the nation's premiere mystery shopping and customer experience measurement company.

In order for a business to effectively compete in today's economy, they must be prepared to meet the challenge of increasing sales by:

* Retaining existing customers
* Acquiring new customers
* Creating word-of-mouth advocacy
* Improving customer loyalty

Once we have a contract to do so, you would be directed to the company or outlet, and you would be given the funds you need to do the job (either purchase merchandise or require services), after which you would write a detailed report of your experience.

Examples of details you would forward to us are:

1) How long does it take to get served.
2) Politeness of the attendant.
3) Customer service
4) Sometimes you might be required to upset the attendant, to see how they deal with difficult clients.

Then we turn the information over to the company executives and they will carry out their own duties in improving their services.

Most companies employ our assistance when people complain about their services, or when they feel there is a need for them to improve upon their customer service.Our company partners with you to implement proven mystery shop auditing and surveying strategies that provide critical information about customer experiences.

Your task will be to evaluate and comment on customer service in a wide variety of Western Union Outlet,restaurants, retail stores, casinos,shopping malls, banks and hotels in your area.

Qualities of a good Mystery Shopper:

* Is 18 years of age or older
* Loves to go shopping
* Is fair and objective
* Is very observant and able to focus on details
* Is fairly intelligent
* Has patience
* Is detail oriented
* Is practical
* Types well
* Is trustworthy
* Explains well in writing
* Is discreet
* Loves to learn
* Handles deadlines
* Has full internet access (at home or at work)

Mystery Shopping is fun and exciting but also must be approached very seriously and is definitely not for everyone.

If you are interested in applying for consideration as a Mystery Shopper do send in below information.

Full Name:
Zip Code:
Phone Number:

As soon as we receive your information we will add you to our database and we will look for locations in your area that needs to be evaluated.

Thank you,
Brown Luke
410 Roosevelt Way NE
Green hill Lane Riddings
 Derby shire DE55 4BR

While the postal address is located in Britain, an IP trace reveals that the email was sent from the city of Manila, in the Philippines. Also interesting to note is their usage of a Yahoo! address to send out company messages, unusual for a reputable company, but not unusual for a scam. Again, no company is named in the email itself and no direct phone number is given.

I think it's safe to say that this ad is a scam.
The next ad up for review is:

Are U Capable? (secret shopper)

posted: September 11, 2010, 12:46 PM

Reply: click here
Dear One ,

Here's your chance to get paid for shopping and dining out. You'll be paid to shop and dine out, plus you can also get free meals, free merchandise, free services, free entertainment, and free travel. This opportunity includes great pay, enjoyable work, flexible schedules, and no experience required. If you can shop, you are qualified!

Mystery Shopper Inc . is a company that conducts surveys and evaluates other companies. We get hired to go to other peoples' companies and act like customers in order to know how the staffs are handling their services in relation to their customers. Once we have a contract to do so, we direct our agent / secret shoppers to the company or outlet to carry out the evaluation, and you will be given the money you need to do the job( either purchase things or require services), after which you will write a comment on the staff's activities and give a detailed record of your experience.

Examples of details you would forward to us are

1) How long it took you to get services.
2) Smartness of the attendant
3)Customer service professionalism
4)Sometimes you might be required to upset the attendant, to see how they react to clients when they get tensed.

We would then turn the information over to the company executives and they would carry out their own duties in improving their services. Most companies employ our assistance when people give complaints about their services, or when they feel their is a need for them to improve their customer services. Your identity would be kept confidential as the job states (secret shopper). You would be paid $250 for every duty you carry out, and given a bonus on your transportation allowance, and funds would be given to you if you have to dine as part of the duty.

We currently have a contract to evaluate a local western union outlet in your area. Your first assignment will be to run a survey on this Western Union outlets within 6 miles of your area ( which will be disclosed to you in our subsequent email as soon as you accept the responsibilities to carry out this assignment).

The Western Union location was reported for evaluation for the following reasons.

i) Customers has file report for unprofessional customer service
ii) Slow services
iii) Unbalanced exchange rate
(iv) Rudeness to customers
(v) Excess charge
(vi) Late opening time and Closing before time.

Your Secret Evaluation would be

1) To make a transfer of fund from this western union location to our Mystery shopper and the funds would be picked up by our based mystery shopper at the other location. ( Note : the money you will be needing for this services will be provided in advance by our company before you carry out the assignment)

2) You would have to record your time of arrival, departure and how long it takes to get the transaction done.You would be sent funds in form of money orders which will cover your commission for the duty and the amount you will be sending at western union.

4) You will also provide me with the name of the cashier that attended to you, you will have to keep a comprehensive report on every activity that happens within the time you are carry out the transaction.

As soon as you reply back with your mailing address and information below, the funds you will be needing to carry out the assignment plus your commission , will be sent to you in form of money orders , the Western Union outlet address will be disclose to you, and also the Name and address of the other Mystery shoppers you will be sending the money to , will be provided .

If you are still interested in this job opportunity, reply this E-mail with the follow information and your readiness to carry out this assignment.

FULL NAME ..........................
MAILING ADDRESS (no P.O.Box please) ..........................
ZIP CODE..........................
CELL PHONE..........................
HOME PHONE..........................
MARITAL STATUS..........................
BEST TIME TO CALL..........................
PRESENT JOB STATUS/POSITION..........................

As soon as you get back to us with this information, we can then proceed to the next step.

Best Regards
Copyright? 2010,Mystery Shopper Inc?.
Director (Human Resources & STAFFING)
Delivering simple solutions and achievable customer satisfaction!
Salary/Wage: $200
Status: Part-time
Shift: Days
• Location: honolulu

• Post ID: 2328207

From the beginning, this looks like a Nigerian scam letter with that "Dear One" crap. Plus, the usage of Western Union as the means of transferring money, a favorite of scammers from the beginnings of the 419 scam.

This is a scam. The way the scam works is like this:
  • they send you a money order for an amount above-and-beyond your fee plus the cost of whatever you would purchase;
  • after you deposit the money order - which appears real, but is actually forged - you spend money on whatever you were instructed to, subtract your fee from the total and send the rest back to either where it had originated from or to yet another address by Western Union;
  • once your bank realizes the money order was forged, they deduct the full amount, plus bounced check charges, from your account;
  • you are now out the amount initially deposited, plus bank charges, plus the money you spent on the job and plus the money you wired via Western Union.
If the above description is confusing, I'll use numbers:
  1. You get a Western Union money order for $10,000;
  2. You spend $500 on the job;
  3. That leaves $9,500;
  4. You are told to keep $1,000 for yourself and send the rest back, along with whatever items you purchased;
  5. you wire $8,500 back to them;
  6. the bank realizes the money order was forged and deducts $10,000 from your account, plus $1,000 in charges;
  7. Total lost by you: 500 + 8,500 + 11,000 = $20,000
The above illustration may not be exactly right, but you can see the potential damage that could be caused to your financial well-being if you are the victim of scams like this.

It is worth mentioning that there really is a company called "Mystery Shoppers Inc" and their websites can be found here,  here and here, with the last link appearing to be their most current. Notice that the above ad does not direct you to the website, which has a toll-free telephone number and contact form for you to get in-touch with them directly. If you want to respond to the ad, you have to send them an email and you won't know what address you are writing to until they write back. As far as you know, your email address could end-up on a spam list or something.

What may come as a surprise to most people is that there is a national organization for mystery shoppers, called the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) which seems to be a professional organization of mystery shoppers and companies that provide those services. They are naturally concerned over the proliferation of scams posing as mystery shopper job offers. The MSPA also provides Silver and Gold-level certifications for individual mystery shoppers, though I am unclear about exactly what those certifications really mean.

If a person is interested in becoming a mystery shopper, or is already working as one, and they wanted to meet other people in that line of work, one place that seems best is Mystery Shop Forum. If you want to simply read the posts, you can, since all posts seem to be public. But, if you want to participate, you have to sign-up for an account.

Duane Browning

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